14 February, 2012

Etsy tutorial - product photos

I still experiment with photos for my Etsy shop. I don't have any superb camera, so I have to work with what I have. And that's Nikon Coolpix S5. Although this thing works surprisingly well, still I have to do lot of work before the photo is "Etsy compatible".

What I used:

I was taking photos in my kitchen in the morning. It has south light so it's filled with sun in the morning. That's nice, but not useful for photographs. Rays of light mess with the exposure and although it seems beautiful in reality, it can't be captured well on the photo.
So I had to do this:

After I adjusted the light in the room, I had beautiful set for my product photography. The green fabric I used to cover the table had to be ironed, of course. I had to sprinkle it with water and roll it for a while and than, when all the fabric went wet, I ironed it quite well to almost perfect flat shape.

And now the camera. I have small tripod, so I've put bucket on the chair and than the tripod on it. It's quite effective (although, in the end, I wouldn't need the tripod at all).

I used 0 or -7 exposure and frankly, I just snapped the pictures automatically as the camera measured it. It looked pretty well on the display, but what a shock, when I put it in my computer!

this is, how the original photo looks like:

Etsy recommendations towards the product photos are to use white background, to make pictures as light as possible, preferably use nature light. Well this photo is obviously too dark. 

I use Linux system Ubuntu 10.10. So I chose Pinta Image Editor to adjust the photos. It's great program similar to Paint.NET which I like for it's pure simplicity. Using "Levels" tool I adjusted brightness and contrast so the final photo looks like this:

I had to do this operation with each product alone, it took me about 3 hours to work it all till the end and I am still not satisfied with it entirely. But I can use them for my shop:

What do you think about them?

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